Saturday, October 3, 2009
Before I had kids, and was thinking about what it would be like, invariably my mind would wander to the "What Ifs". One of these "What Ifs" happened to be Ds. What is I have a child with Ds. How do parents do it? There is no way I could handle that (I knew nothing about Ds). I also had a hard time believing that parents with a child who had a disability of any kind could possibly love, bond with, and feel proud of that child the way a parent loves a 'typical' child. Little did I know. When Marco was born, one of my first emotions was a feeling of relief. He did not have Ds. I remember looking at Aaron and saying over and over: "He is OK, he is OK". Meaning: "He does not have Ds". I thought that was the key to happiness, my child not having Ds or anything else (the reason I was scared of Ds in particular was my age. It could also have been that I always, deep down -no pun intended!!- have known that this was going to happen, and I always pushed that feeling to the very back of my mind.) Anyway, life with Marco was and is wonderful. Then Annelies came along. And after those first difficult, confusing hours, I learned the best lesson yet. I love my child. First of all; my children are kids before anything else. They happen to have some things going on, and we are getting them the best therapy we can possibly get them. We are learning to be advocates for my kids and we do this with all the love and persistance we can muster. It is the most important job I will ever have, and I am happy to do it. But they are persons. Kids. People. They will eventually be valuable participants in society, like all of us.
Going back to those thought I used to have, I actually felt pity for parents of kids who had disabilities. I now cringe at the idea that someone may feel that way about me. Of all the things that could be the worst (besides anything that directly relates to the health of my kids), the fear that someone might pity me is the worst. Interesting, isn't it? I know there are/will be people who do. And I want to tell them to be happy for me (I mean, how freaking CUTE are they?!?!?!) LOL!!!) Not a day goes by where I don't feel so, so overwhelmingly happy and grateful to have these kids and Aaron in my life.